Sexual reproduction in higher plants occurs within the flower, which develops from the floral meristem a specialized form of lateral meristems. The decision to become a floral meristem is highly, regulated, and several genes controlling this process have been isolated. Some of these genes were shown to promote the floral fate precociously and ectopically when expressed constitutively. Furthermore, studies indicate the commitment to the floral fate is not a single switch, but a condition acquired progressively. Finally, genes controlling flowering time, at least in part, act through the floral- mersitem-identity genes, and such interactions occur at multiple levels.
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